Morgan, one of the killer whales that Bikers 4 Orcas is hoping to free from captivity (Photo: AFP/Getty Images)
At first glance, orcas and bikers wouldn't seem to have too much in common. The former are perhaps the sea's second-most beloved animal (after the dolphin, of course), while the latter's reputation often sits somewhere on a spectrum between outlaw and noise nuisance. Bikers 4 Orcas is hoping to bridge that gap.
The organization was founded a couple of weeks ago by Vincent Lensen, a 36-year-old from Holland, and some of his friends, and it's already spreading across the world. The Bikers 4 Orcas mandate is simple: mount up on hogs to help free whales living in captivity.
The group's website explains the connection between bikers and whales:
Ask any biker what he/she experiences when driving his/her motorcycle and the answer is most likely "freedom". A breeze of wind on your skin, a wide world in front of you and the ability to go wherever you want. Bikers also experience this in a group, a club or a gathering. Like a pack of wolfs... or a pod of orcas.
Right now, the group is focussed on a pair of orcas: Morgan, who was first captured off the Dutch coast when she was ill, and now lives in Loro Parque, a theme park in the Canary Islands; and Lolita, who has spent 42 years of her life at the Miami Seaquarium.
The keepers of these whales reject the idea that they need to be "liberated." Officials at the Seaquarium responded to a recent PETA ad campaign demanding Lolita's release by saying that they are taking good care of the whale, and that moving her could endanger her life.
"There is no scientific evidence that the 48-year-old post-reproductive Lolita could survive if she was returned to the ocean," Seaquarium's statement reads in part. "It would be irresponsible, reckless and cruel to treat her life as an experiment and jeopardize her health and safety in order to appease a group of activists."
For his part, Lensen told Take Part that he hopes to shine a light on the plight of these orcas, first by bringing people to their Facebook page (which already has over 2,000 likes) and handing out flyers at biker events.
Morgan Linsley, the group's Canadian spokesperson, will be representing Bikers 4 Orcas at September's huge Friday the 13th biker rally in Port Dover, Ontario. Should they sign up enough members, Linsley told Strombo.com that she hopes to organize a peaceful protest this winter to coincide with the seasonal closing of Marineland in October.
Ultimately, Lensen is planning to organize a worldwide protest ride, with orca-loving bikers around the world mounting up on the same day to bring attention to the plight of Morgan and Lolita.
Via Take Part